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The Balcony Experience...

Princess knew it had tapped into something big when the five-star Royal Princess debuted in 1984 with 150 balcony staterooms. Passenger response was overwhelming, and so began Princess' early role as a pioneer of the balconies-at-sea trend, which is becoming increasingly popular within the industry. Today, Princess is still a leader in balconies, with its nine-ship worldwide fleet offering in excess of 2,800 cabins with private balconies. Princess' ground-breaking efforts reinvented balconies as an affordable pleasure for many passengers instead of a luxury for just a few.

"Passengers love our private balcony experience," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. "They say that once they've cruised in a cabin with a balcony, they will never again sail without one."

That's good news for Princess, as the company plans to add 4,000 new balconies on its next six ships. These new balconies, which will be featured on Golden Princess, Star Princess, Coral Princess, Island Princess, Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess - will represent a more than 50 percent increase over the current number and allow more passengers than ever before to enjoy this sybaritic experience.

Passengers cite a variety of reasons for favoring cabins with private balconies. Ocean lovers appreciate them for the sights, smells and sounds they provide of the open sea. Avid readers enjoy them for the peace and quiet they afford when enjoying a good book. Outdoor types appreciate balconies for the full-time access they offer to glacier and wildlife sightings. Early and late risers appreciate them for the solitude they provide for a private "in-cabin" morning meal and coffee. And just about everyone loves them for the chance to relax and unwind in the privacy of their own room.

"Our balcony cabins, ranging from standard accommodations up to suites, are most often the first to be booked on any given sailing," added Brown.

In the early days of cruising balconies were rare, often being offered only on penthouse suites destined to be occupied by the wealthy cruiser. Typically then, a private veranda at sea meant spending more money for the cruise. Princess has set the pace for the industry in making balconies available on a full range of cabin categories, offered at only slightly higher rates than similar cabins without them.

A balcony stateroom is just one more option cruisers have as part of Princess' Personal Choice Cruising experience. Be warned, however, once you've cruised in one of these special "rooms with a view," there's no turning back!

The goal of the family vacation is simple: find that elusive experience that allows both parents and children to enjoy their favorite activities as well as spend quality time together. As part of the line's Personal Choice Cruising program, ships such as Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Grand Princess, Sea Princess and Ocean Princess all offer state-of-the-art children's facilities with an array of choices for junior cruisers.


Princess Offers The Perfect Family Vacation...

A cruise represents the ideal family vacation because parents and children alike have the opportunity to customize the cruise experience to fit their own interests and needs. Not only that, but parents can relax knowing their children are nearby, well supervised and having fun.

Love Boat Kids is Princess' program for children ages two to 17 years. While youth facilities vary by vessel, children are welcomed with a myriad of games and activities on all Princess ships, and are supervised by a dedicated staff of youth activity professionals. Two distinct, age-specific programs have been created: "Princess Pelicans" for ages 2 to 12 and the "Princess Teen Club," or "P.T.C.," for ages 13 to 17.

Princess Pelicans are entertained with non-stop activities including arts and crafts, pool games, scavenger hunts, deck parties, bridge and galley tours, afternoon ice cream, videos and cartoons. Meanwhile, the Princess Teen Club keeps teens on the go with events such as dancing in their own private disco, murder mystery games, theme parties, shipboard olympics, karaoke and lip sync shows, pizza parties and movie fests.

A special schedule outlining the next day's activities, customized for each age group, is delivered every night to the youth on board.

Featuring fully-equipped youth and teen centers, Regal Princess, Crown Princess, Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Ocean Princess and Grand Princess keep young sailors entertained with art corners, game tables, splash pools, ping pong tables, juke boxes and the latest video games. The line's Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Ocean Princess and Grand Princess feature a toddler's play area and theater, doll's house, castle and ball jump, splash pool and ice-cream kiosk. Grand Princess' facilities also feature two-level children's and teen centers with indoor and outdoor areas.

On Royal Princes and Pacific Princess, when 15 or more children ages 2 to 17 are on board, they'll also enjoy a full schedule of supervised activities organized by a youth activities coordinator.

One of the biggest crowd-pleasers with all kids is the pizza party, offered one night during the cruise where children can dine without parents in the company of all their friends.

The Love Boat Kids program also enables youngsters to participate in a special environmental program called "Save Our Seas," created by the California Coastal Commission and the Center for Marine Conservation. Throughout the cruise, children will enjoy activities designed to teach them about the oceans and marine life.

Once the ship arrives at a port of call, Princess' "Adventures Ashore" program features a wide range of tours appealing to explorers of all ages. And at Princess Cays, the line's private beach in the Bahamas, a new supervised play area called Pelican's Perch features a sandbox and pirate ship playground, providing a safe and fun place for beach play.

Princess' children's program is available through the evening from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. Programs are free until 10 p.m., after which a $4 per hour, per child charge will apply. Children must be at least two years of age to take part in the Love Boat Kids program.


Stay In Shape Easily With Princesses' Cruisercise Program!

Another family friendly service available aboard Princess ships with children's centers is an in-port babysitting program. The service is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at a rate of $4 per hour, per child, allowing parents the opportunity to enjoy some free time ashore without worrying about their children.

The minimum passenger age aboard Princess ships is 12 months (18 months on the line's Exotics itineraries) -- with a lower minimum of six months in the Caribbean and Alaska.

A cruise vacation can be an adventure in pampered self-indulgence. But with today's emphasis on health and physical fitness, many passengers don't want to leave their fitness programs at home, especially given the temptations found aboard some cruise ships.

For fitness-oriented passengers, both those with and without willpower, there are ways to enjoy all that a cruise offers and not return home using the age-old excuse that "the salt air shrank my clothes."

Princess' fleetwide Cruisercise® program was designed with the fitness-conscious in mind. On all Princess ships Cruisercise classes are offered daily and include walk-a-mile, stretch and tone, high- and low-impact aerobic workouts, and on some ships, aquacise. The program is led by a Cruisercise manager who can also assist passengers with personalized workout programs during the sailing.

Catering to the fitness traveler, Princess has equipped most of its ships with impressive gymnasiums featuring state-of-the-art workout equipment. Princess' newest ships offer some of the most complete, technically advanced fitness equipment and facilities at sea.

Grand Princess leads the way with a fully equipped fitness center that includes the first swim-against-the-current lap pool aboard a cruise ship, a sports court for basketball, volleyball and paddle tennis, a jogging track, and the latest in exercise equipment.

Unique "shipshape" features of Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess and Ocean Princess each include the latest high-tech workout equipment in an ultra-deluxe, glass-walled fitness center and health spa located at the top of the ship -- 14 stories up, overlooking the ocean -- in addition to a sports deck uniquely located within the ship's funnel.

"Images," the health and fitness center aboard Regal Princess and Crown Princess, is equipped with more than a dozen pieces of Keiser-300 exercise equipment, Bally Lifecycles, and a VCR and aerobics area for programmed instruction. A top deck 1/5th mile outdoor tractioned jogging track is also featured.

Royal Princess features a gymnasium complete with Tunturi lifecycles and an 11-station Hydro Fitness exercise facility, plus rowing machines and a Paramount Uniflex Sports Trainer. For walkers or joggers, three-and-a-half times around the Promenade Deck equals a mile.

Pacific Princess is equipped with Lifecycles and Hydro Fitness exercise equipment. A jogging track is located on the top deck of the ship.

In addition to taking advantage of the fitness facilities and Cruisercise classes offered aboard each ship, passengers interested in fitness can also follow some common sense guidelines. For example: participate in the wide variety of deck games and tournaments; try taking the stairs instead of the elevators; don't indulge in a midnight snack every night (it's just as fun to go and look); make advance arrangements with the Maître d' to accommodate any special diet or food requests; limit the number of fruit and specialty cocktails -- instead drink lighter beverages such as wine, wine coolers and juices; burn off extra calories nightly by dancing; tour ports on foot when possible instead of taking a bus or cab; or participate in a sport such as tennis, golf or swimming.

By combining a little restraint with some Cruisercise, passengers will find their cruise vacation not only relaxing and enjoyable, but physically rewarding as well.


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